Fusing Vision 2030 with Belt Road Initiative

Updated 03 September 2016

Fusing Vision 2030 with Belt Road Initiative

BEIJING: A panel discussion entitled “Saudi Vision 2030 and the Belt Road Initiative: Together for a Promising Future” was held in Beijing during the visit of Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources Minister Khalid Al-Falih, Commerce and Investment Minister Majid Al-Qassabi, Telecommunications and IT Minister Mohammed Al-Suwaiyel, Culture and Information Minister Adel Al-Toraifi and Yasir Al-Rumayan, managing director of the Public Investment Fund, participated in the panel discussion.
At the beginning of the discussion, Al-Qassabi highlighted available investment opportunities for Chinese companies in the Kingdom.
He noted that the Kingdom’s natural resources as well as its geographical location plus Chinese economic power provided great economic and investment opportunities for Chinese companies.
Al-Suwaiyel spoke of the Kingdom’s great progress in the field of communications and information technology.
“The overall effectiveness of the Kingdom’s sector for communications and information technology depends on four key players — the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, the Communications and Information Technology Commission, the companies carrying out the work and the Saudi Post,” he said.
He noted that youth represented 60 percent of the Saudi population. He said that Saudis working in the sector were 20 percent with the remaining 80 percent being non-Saudis.
Al-Suwaiyel stressed that the ministry had held meetings with regional and international companies, including a Chinese company, for the purpose of training Saudi youth in the field of communications and information technology.
Al-Toraifi lauded the keenness of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman in supporting and improving bilateral relations between Saudi Arabia and China in all fields. He pointed out the great respect King Salman had for the Chinese people and their rich culture.
“I’m glad to be on this panel, and I have the highest respect for the Chinese people. We know that China is a land of wisdom, and have had the opportunity to visit the Chinese Museum and be briefed on various aspects of China’s ancient culture and heritage,” Al-Toraifi said.
“In my capacity as the minister of culture and information, I also serve as a member of the Council of Political and Security Affairs. In addition, I am a member of the Council of Economic and Development Affairs and thus, I have experience in the security and political spheres as well as on the cultural side,” he said.
“I learned a great deal from King Salman who devotes much of his time to reading. This has pushed me to follow his example. I remember that the king is known in the Arab world as a friend of journalists. I remembered this because I know the large number of books on China that he has read. He has the greatest respect for the Chinese people and their ancient culture.”
Al-Toraifi pointed out that King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Naif had directed the ministers and the delegation to introduce Saudi Vision 2030 to the Chinese people by fully exploiting the visit of Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to the People’s Republic of China.
He pointed out that the ministers accompanying the deputy crown prince sought to introduce the vision in the most advantageous way for the Chinese and in attempting to do so, they concluded that economy, politics, charity and development should all be linked together.
He highlighted the favorable outcomes of the deputy crown prince’s visit to China through meetings with Chinese officials and the signing of agreements and memorandums of understanding between the two countries in all fields.
He considered the Belt Road Initiative one of the main pillars of the Saudi Vision 2030 which would seek to make China among the Kingdom’s biggest economic partners.
Al-Toraifi stressed his personal keenness on improving cultural exchanges between Saudi Arabia and China in order to achieve greater convergence between the two friendly peoples.
He added that there were efforts being made to present Chinese culture to Saudi society and Saudi culture to Chinese society.
“With this aim, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) launched a Chinese-language website six months ago. One of the things that we have done during this visit is to hold meetings with Chinese officials and sign memorandums of understanding with them. Our goal is to bring the Saudi and Chinese peoples closer and to increase tourism between the two countries,” he said.
Regarding the Kingdom’s foreign investments, Al-Rumayan of the Public Investment Fund stressed that there had been many discussions of investment opportunities with Chinese companies in the fields of infrastructure, construction, advanced technology and others.
He mentioned that there were great investment opportunities for Chinese companies in the Kingdom, and he pointed out that there are multi-partnerships among Saudi and Chinese companies as well as joint investment on the international level.
Al-Falih spoke of the importance of the visit paid by the deputy crown prince to China. He lauded Saudi-Chinese strategic relations, particularly in the field of energy.
He added that Saudi Arabia and China had signed a number of agreements pertaining to energy. He said connections between the two countries provided more investment opportunities and he specifically mentioned the possibilities that are a part of the Saudi Vision 2030.
He pointed out a number of investment opportunities in the fields of infrastructure, industries, technology and other development.

Huge expectations from Saudi crown prince’s Korea visit

Updated 21 min 16 sec ago

Huge expectations from Saudi crown prince’s Korea visit

  • The export of South Korea’s APR-1400 nuclear reactor technology to Saudi Arabia is high on the agenda

SEOUL: Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is due to meet South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Wednesday to discuss wider economic ties between the two countries, according to the presidential office.
The crown prince’s visit to South Korea is the first by an heir to the throne of the world’s largest oil exporter since then-Crown Prince Abdullah’s tour in 1998. The crown prince will also attend the G20 Summit next week in Osaka, Japan.
The two-day visit is expected to deliver key agreements with South Korea in a variety of industrial fields, including cooperation on nuclear reactor and defense technologies.
“Saudi Arabia, a key ally of South Korea, is the biggest oil supplier to our government and the largest economic partner among the Middle Eastern countries,” presidential spokeswoman Koh Min-jung told reporters.
“Both leaders are expected to discuss detailed measures to expand bilateral cooperation beyond the traditional areas of construction and energy to the sectors of information and technology, nuclear energy, green cars, health, public service and exchange of human resources.”
The crown prince and his economic advisers are scheduled to have luncheon with South Korean business leaders after his summit with President Moon, she said.
Business leaders attending the luncheon will include Lee Jae-yong, vice chairman of Samsung Electronics; Chung Eui-sun, vice chairman of Hyundai Motor Group; Chey Tae-won, chairman of SK Group, and Koo Kwang-mo, chairman of LG Group.
A Samsung spokesman, who declined to be named, told Arab News that his company has a package of business proposals to present to Saudi Arabia.
“We’re not sure at the moment what business elements the Kingdom wants, but we have a variety of business packages that can meet the Saudi Vision 2030 requirements, ranging from engineering, procurement and construction to information and communications technology, and artificial intelligence,” the spokesman said.
Hyundai Motor Group was cautious about revealing potential business projects with Riyadh.
“We’ll see what’s happening. We have high expectations about potential business cooperation with Saudi Arabia,” a Hyundai Motor spokesman said, while asking not to be named.
The export of South Korea’s APR-1400 nuclear reactor technology to Saudi Arabia is high on the agenda.
Team Korea, led by the Korea Electric Power Corp., was shortlisted last year for a nuclear power plant construction project in Saudi Arabia, along with the US, China, France and Russia. The project by the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy is aimed at building two nuclear power plants by 2030.


• Different South Korean companies are reportedly keen to invest in Saudi Arabia and become part of Vision 2030’s success.

• The Saudi leader is also expected to attend a ceremony celebrating the completion of Saudi-owned S-Oil’s residue upgrading facility.

• Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman will also attend the G20 Summit next week in Osaka, Japan.

With Riyadh reportedly leaning toward the US bidder, Team Korea is considering forming a strategic consortium with the US side, according to government sources.
“The possibility of the Korea-US consortium for the Saudi project is a feasible option,” said Huh Min-ho, a researcher of Shinhan Invest Corp., referring to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s approval of the technical design of South Korea’s APR-1400 reactors.
“For South Korea, joining hands with the US is a feasible option to win the Saudi nuclear reactor contract, though the total order amount would be reduced,” the analyst said. “Once the Saudi project is won, more orders are expected to come from other countries such as the UK, the Czech Republic and Poland.”
South Korea already has a nuclear power footprint in in the Middle East after its construction of the Barakah nuclear power plant in the UAE. The country recently won a five-year maintenance deal for the nuclear plant with Nawah Energy Co., the operator of the plant.
The Saudi crown prince is also interested in South Korea’s weapons development technology, according to defense sources, and is scheduled to visit the Agency for Defense Development, South Korea’s only weapons developing agency, during his stay.
“We heard the crown prince is interested in the transfer of weapons technology when his country imports foreign weapons systems,” a Defense Ministry official told Arab News.
The Saudi leader is also expected to attend a ceremony celebrating the completion of Saudi-owned S-Oil’s residue upgrading facility. S-Oil, which is wholly owned by state-run Saudi Aramco, is third-largest oil refiner in South Korea.